Is there really a need for three domain conferences within 30 days? There is a hard core group of professional domainers and domain journalists who go to almost all of these conferences. Andrew Allemann of Domain Name Wire had to pay an extra $500 for his TRAFFIC Las Vegas air fare after booking his flight for the wrong week. He reported that he was booking flights for TRAFFIC (January 21-23 ), DOMAINfest (January 26-28 ) and Domainer Mardi Gras (February 11-13 ) at the same time and apparently got confused.
What about the rest of us? Can you afford to jet to Las Vegas, L.A., and New Orleans in the same month? I can’t.
I expect that this will be the last year that we see 3 conferences so close together. DOMAINfest was apparently the best attended conference – with over 650 in attendance. Oversee.net has gained a reputation for having the best combination of content and parties at their DOMAINfest Global conferences. They have carved out a good time for snowbirds to travel to a warmer climate (even though it is the rainy season) and I don’t expect they will change.
Domainer Mardi Gras was originally sponsored by Modern Domainer magazine. It is now sponsored by Parked.com. They don’t have much flexibility about when they hold their conference – they can’t reschedule Mardi Gras. This conference was apparently lightly attended last year. It is primarily a time for domainers to party and relax in the middle of the winter. Next year Mardi Gras will be on March 8th – so the conference (if they still hold it) will be in March instead of February. Will they still have it? It depends on whether Parked and DirectNIC find it worthwhile. If the turnout is low, then this conference may be the first to go.
The TRAFFIC shows are being run by Rick Latona this year. Their website is much more professional and the conference got good reviews (except for the buggy live auction). We may see a pared-down line-up in 2011. Some have suggested that TRAFFIC is scheduled this way to capture people who are on their way to DOMAINfest. If that strategy is working, then they probably won’t move either. If they drop a show in 2011 their January show may be the one.
The “average” domain owner would benefit from picking one of these events to attend every year or two. You’ll learn about new developments and get a change to meet other domain professionals. Don’t limit your attendance to domain conferences, though. Consider attending seo conferences such as an SMX event or an affiliate conference such as Affiliate Summit. As domain parking income dwindles, we all need other business models to consider.